Oklahoma quarterback, #6
It was Bedlam in Stillwater, Oklahoma last weekend. 114 points and 1,446 yards later, the Sooners prevailed against Oklahoma State powered by a mammoth effort from Mayfield, who threw for 598 yards and six total touchdowns. The 62-52 win marked two consecutive games for Mayfield with at least five total touchdowns.
In what was easily the best Heisman performance of the season, the redshirt senior established himself as the premier quarterback in college football. Mayfield outdueled his rival Heisman candidate, senior quarterback Mason Rudolph, on Saturday and added another quality win to his Heisman resume.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Sooners, though. Oklahoma will welcome TCU to Norman, Oklahoma in what could very well be a Big 12 Championship game preview. Expect both teams to utilize their offensive firepower to take the match.
Penn State running back, #26
For the second consecutive week, Barkley was held to under 100 rushing yards. The junior back rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries in a 27-24 loss at Michigan State. After checking in at No. 2 two weeks ago, the Nittany Lions’ playoff hopes are now in jeopardy.
Once again, Penn State showed that it could not win a game by being one-dimensional, only emphasizing the importance of Barkley in all phases of the game. If the Nittany Lions fail to give the ball to the junior back, who is second in the nation with 1,761 all-purpose yards, trouble could ensue in Happy Valley.
The Nittany Lions will have a chance to bounce back when they host Rutgers this weekend. Barkley and Penn State open as 31-point favorites on the game, so don’t expect this one to be much of a competition.
Stanford running back, #20
After returning from a hamstring injury, Love had yet another slow day at the office. The junior back had 69 rushing yards on the night, with 52 coming on a touchdown run in a scrappy 24-21 loss to Washington State.
Love, for the most part, had been running free on defenses this season. But after sitting out last week and being bottled up by a tough Washington State defense, Love fell behind in the rushing race. He still averages 9.6 yard per carry, good for the top spot in terms of yards per carry.
It only gets tougher for Love and the Cardinals from here — the No. 12 Washington Huskies will pay a visit to Palo Alto, California in what looks to be the perfect opportunity for Love to show off his Heisman pose.
Arizona quarterback, #14
Another Heisman sleeper this year has been Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate, who has quietly stolen the show in Arizona after coming on as the backup quarterback a month ago. The sophomore quarterback threw for 146 yards and rushed for another 161 in a 49-35 loss to USC.
Despite the loss, Tate has accrued 2,017 total yards, eight passing touchdowns, and nine rushing scores this season, and leads the country in yards per carry with 11.4. As Tate continues his slow yet steady rise into the Heisman conversation, expect his name to be right there with Mayfield come time the finalists are announced.
The Wildcats will play host to Oregon State this weekend, in what looks to be a game tilted heavily in the Wildcats’ favor. Expect Tate and three-touchdown favorite Arizona to have a smooth night at the office.